So after beginning our journey to what teams are looking for in the NFL Draft, its time to go to the most talked about division in the NFL, the NFC East. Can Washington come back and win the division again, or will the new changes in New York lead the Giants to glory? Will Dallas start a new streak of mediocrity and can Philadelphia make a move that will finally bring the city of brotherly love a championship? Here is my official breakdown of the division.
Record: 9-7 (first in the division)
Playoffs: Lost in Wild Card game ( finished 4th in conference)
Analysis: Washington is an interesting team because of the fact that they dont really need alot to the division. They have a good offense, somewhat good defense and a franchise quarterback in Kirk Cousins. Now despite the fact that they dont need alot, there are things that could help this team. For one, they need a defensive backfield to help the defense. Secondly, they need to shore up the offensive line to protect Cousins or whoever is the quarterback for the team.
Draft Picks: 21st in the 1st round, 53rd in the 2nd round, 84th in the third round.
Players to Watch: Jalen Ramsey,DB, Florida State and Mackensie Alexander, DB, Clemson. Both of these players have the skills to be lockdown corners in Washington, which could help out the defense get closer to putting licks on the NFC East qbs. The Skins can use Ramsey as a nickel back and have him the top receiver 1st and 2nd down and then on a flex wideout on third. The same goes with Alexander but he can switch and possibly play safety if need be on certain blitz packages. If Washington picks either one of these guys, expect the defense in the nations capital to become a lot scarier.
Playoffs: Did Not Qualify (10th in conference)
Analysis: This team is a mess. Like a big mess. Former coach Chip Kelly drove the team into the ground, the offense is in shambles, the defense is no better, and yet they still finished second in the division. Now with new head coach Doug Pederson, this team needs a new direction if they plan on winning the division.
Draft Picks: 13th in the 1st round, 77th and 79th in the 3rd round.
Players to Watch: Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State, Cody Kessler, QB, USC, Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA. Now you are probably wondering why I have two qbs on the watch list for Philly. Well lets be honest with ourselves, I can’t sit here and say that Sam Bradford is the guy at quarterback for the Eagles. Kessler and Jones could fit the bill for the Eagles as they need QB’s to stretch the field and can take a hit. Now defensively, Philly needs to build a rotation of d-lineman and Kenny Clark could be that cog to build on. His motor is scary and in the East, hitting the QB is priority number one. Philly is going into this deaft without alot of picks but they can use this building block as a way to get over .500 this year.
Playoffs: Did Not Qualify (12th in division)
Analysis: The Giants are perplexing, as they are similar to Washington in the sense that they have everything they need to win the division. But they stumbled and fell to teams they didnt need to and ending up 2 games under .500. Now this year they have two main concerns: wide reciever and defense. Now wide reciever wise, they need to find a true compliment to Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz when he comes back. Ruben Randle is okay but its highly unlikely that he comes back to the Giants. On defense, they need to shore up their defensive line as Jason Pierre Paul is a free agent and all signs are looking toward him going elsewhere.
Draft Picks: 10th in the 1st round, 40th in the 2nd round, 71st in the 3rd round.
Players to watch: Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma and Shawn Oakman, DT, Baylor. Now when it comes to Shepard, I think from a build perspective, he is the perfect compliment to OBJ. He has the necessary speed to spread a defense out and can take pressure off of both Cruz and OBJ. Now in Shawn Oakman’s case, he is being underrated by teammate Andrew Billings and because of the amount of defensive talent that is coming out this year. Now normally he lines up on the outside but he can play the inside, which is going to make him a diamond in the rough for teams. If the Giants pick either of these teams, expect the Giants to be looking to getting Eli Manning his third ring.
4. Dallas Cowboys
2015 Record: 4 – 12 (last in division)
Playoffs: Did Not Qualify (last in conference)
Analysis: Overrated isnt the right word for this team. Personally I loved the fact that they lost so badly this past year because of what they did to my Lions two years ago, but thats neither here nor their. Dallas has alot of holes to fill up but can they do it to where they are a competitive team in the NFC? They need a running back, Romo is always hurt, and the defense is god awful. But how do they fix it?
Draft Picks: 4th in 1st round, 34 in the 2nd round, 67th in 3rd round
Players to Watch: Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliot and Braxton Miller, DT, RB and WR, Ohio State. Look, this might be overdoing it, but a majority of the Ohio States draft prospects NEED to be on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones top three. Bosa brings a new type of danger to the Dallas defense, as he could be the next J.J. Watt. Elliot also makes sense becuase despite his size, he runs angry and can burst through defenses. Now I would say you could put Derrick Henry in this spot, but I just don’t trust Alabama running backs coming out of college. Finally, Braxton Miller makes sense because not only can he play quarterback if Romo gets hurt, but he can also bring a new dynamic to the wideout position in Dallas that can help Dez Bryant get less coverage and be more productive
Well thats it for the NFC East, and we see what everyone needs to do to have a winning season. Washington needs help on the back end, Philadelphia( as of after the free agency starting) needs help on both sides of the ball, New York needs to concentrate on getting a true slot receiver and Dallas needs to create a metaphorical and physical pipeline to Columbus, Ohio. Come back next week and see my outlook on the division I live in, the NFC North.